Jose Mourinho has questioned the bravery of certain members of his Manchester United squad.
United breezed past Swansea 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, Paul Pogba volleying home the opener before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to end his six-game goalless run. Mike van der Hoorn grabbed a consolation for the hosts.
Mourinho’s side had a very experienced look to it as Michael Carrick and Phil Jones were handed their first Premier League starts of the season while Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young were also brought in.
Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all missing from the United squad, with Mourinho revealing that Shaw informed him in the morning that he wasn’t in condition to start the game.
Mourinho told MUTV before the game in south Wales: “Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100 per cent with his pain.
“Luke Shaw told me this morning that he was not in the condition to play so we had to build a defensive line.”
After the match, without directly talking about individuals, Mourinho warned his squad that he only wants players that are willing to put their “bodies on the line” in his dressing room.
“There is a difference between the brave that will be there at any cost and the ones that a little pain can make a difference,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“Great football people – great sportspeople – many, many times play without being 100 per cent. For the team you have to do anything – that’s my way of saying. If one day I meet the big ones [players] of this club who have had great success – for sure, they are going to tell me that many times they put their bodies on the line even with pains everywhere.
“It’s not just the players but it’s the people that surround the players. It will take time to change [the mentality] but with the help of players like Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney, it will be a possible mission.”
Mourinho used Jones as an example of the type of characters he wants at Manchester United.
The defender was making his first senior appearance for United since January 2 after struggling with knee problems.
“I was really happy for the players who were willing to go inside and give everything, especially some of them who had doubtful condition, like Phil Jones,” he said.
“He was a brave guy to be ready to play for 90 minutes after such a long period without even training.
“Ashley Young played in a position that’s not even his position – they are just two names. I could also say Paul Pogba coming back from a painful situation. I’m really happy with the performance.”